Judging Process

The SLPOTY Judging System

The SLPOTY judging system, to the best of our knowledge, is the fairest of any major photography competition. It is based on academic and scientific research and comprises a blend of the “triple blind” and “relative placement” judging methods.

What is triple blind judging?

Triple blind is the system used in medical trials and it works like this in the competition.

When the judges view your images:

  • they do not have any details about the image
  • they do not know who the photographer is
  • they do not convene as a group to view images – each judge views the image alone

This method fair and reliable.

What is relative placement scoring?

Relative placement is widely used in inherently subjective competitions like dance & music. It has been shown to be the most fair, accurate, and reliable measure for determining the results. It works like this:

  • There are a minimum of 5 judges
  • There is always an odd number of judges. This produces a majority result and avoids a tie.
  • Each judge has an equal vote.
  • No judge has a casting vote

The strength of this method is that biased judges are easily spotted and their scores are removed to provide a fair result.

Example 1 – if 4 judges give an image 10/10 but one judge gives the image 1/10, it is assumed that this judge is biased towards that image and their score is removed.

Example 2 – if one judge gives every image of a sunset 1/10, but the other judges do not, then it is assumed this judges is biased against sunsets and their score is removed.

Example 3 – if a particular photographer has entered 20 images and one judge has given every one of their images 10/10, then it is assumed the judge knows the photographer and this judges scores are removed.

The judging stages

Preliminary round:

  1. First viewing
  2. 7 day wait period
  3. Second viewing – yes/no vote
  4. Yes votes go through to next round.
  5. No votes – deleted

Secondary round

  1. Images viewed and given scores out of 10
  2. Highest scoring images go through to final round technical check.
  3. Lowest scoring images rejected but kept in reserve

Final round

  1. Request for RAW/Original files and checked for compliance with the rules.
  2. All images that comply win prize or commendation.
  3. Files that do not comply are eliminated